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Archive for the ‘Story/RP’ Category

I went through my level 101 charaters and sorted them by how close they were to level 102 and being able to get the rest of their Artifact weapons. My Monk was the most advanced, at 88%. Doing the Falling Star questline was all she needed to ding 102.

Because I have the Pearl of Pandaria graphic novel in my collection, I loved the references to it as Li Li Stormstout accompanied me for the Windwalker Artifact quests. If I didn’t have it, those bits probably wouldn’t have made quite as much sense — but I don’t think I would have disliked them.

The Elemental Shaman questline kinda-sorta made sense of how the Fist of Ra-den came to be a Shaman Artifact instead of a Monk Artifact.. but the Windwalker Monk questline didn’t really make any sense of how the Fist of the Heavens came to be a Monk Artifact instead of a Shaman Artifact. Having done both questlines, I still think that they’re backwards — the Fists of Ra-den should be the Windwalker Monk Artifact, and the Fist of the Heavens should be the Elemental Shaman Artifact.

It was a fun questline, though, and so was the Mistweaver Artifact questline.

Though I haven’t actively healed with a Monk since I ran LFR with the Pet Battling Monk during Mists and had to completely re-set up my Mistweaver action bars and Clique-binds, I didn’t have any trouble with keeping my party of Shado Pan buddies alive. I’d told them all to go full-out DPS and not worry about their own health, so I was a bit worried that we might wipe and I’d have to tell one or two of them to fight defensively, but nah, it was a piece of cake.

For the time being, though, I’m going to keep leveling as and putting my Artifact Power points into Brewmaster.

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Although I had considered retiring my Draenei Mage, Kaprikka, at the Lamplighter Inn in Embaari Village, at the end of Warlords I ultimately decided to pull her back to the Exodar.

Ever since I played through the Battle for the Exodar scenario at the beginning of the Light’s Heart questline for the first time with Kamalia — knowing that Kaprikka was there when those terrible things happened there — I can’t bear to log in with Kaprikka. It would feel utterly wrong to be in an Exodar that is calm, peaceful, undisturbed, still filled with the soothing chiming of O’ros, still led by a Velen who is suppressing the ancient brokenness of his heart.

A few days ago, Mr Rossi wrote about the trauma experienced by major lore figures and how the in-game and external lore sources deal with it inconsistently. Something the Battle for the Exodar has made me stop and think about is the trauma experienced by the “little guys”, the ordinary folk of Azeroth. Every time I play through that scenario with another character, I can’t help but think, what was Kaprikka’s experience with this event — the experience of an ordinary Draenei citizen?

Some of the things the Terrified Draenei Citizens say when you rescue them — especially the things the children say —

— show that the devs put at least a little bit of thought into how this event would affect the ordinary people of the city. But that’s also another thing that makes it hard to think about logging into an unchanged, unaffected Exodar, with a Velen who is still a pillar of the Light.

When I played through the scenario again last night with my Blood Elf Mage, Kaelinda, it was even more harrowing than it has been for my other characters. I imagined Kaelinda remembering her visit there, in Human disguise, shortly before the Cataclysm, and being even more deeply horrified than my other characters by the fel destruction taking place. I imagined her searching for the face of her friend, Kaprikka, among the crowd when she first arrived at Velen’s bubble in the Vault of Light and becoming increasingly desperate as she didn’t find Kaprikka while looking for Terrified Exodar Citizens to rescue. I imagined that she caught a glimpse of Kaprikka running to safety after she had finished collapsing the Legion portals, but that she couldn’t stay because Velen took off toward the Seat of the Naaru. And even though what I actually did in-game was use Khadgar’s Beacon to teleport back to New Dalaran as soon as the scenario was over, if I were to write this event up as an RP story, Kaelinda would go back to the Vault of Light to talk to Kaprikka before she returned to New Dalaran.

For Draenei who have been around as long as Velen — or who are first- or second-generation children of the exodus — the attack of the Legion on the Exodar on Azeroth is probably just “oh no, not this again…” For Kaprikka, though, who is only 200 – 250 years old — born on Draenor, in Farahlon — this is only the second time that she has experienced this kind of thing… and if she’s honest with herself, in only a decade, she hasn’t completely recovered from the events that turned Draenor into Outland. And because she was in Farahlon, away from the worst of the rampage of the Orcs, the Legion’s attack on the Exodar on Azeroth is a more traumatic experience for her than Kael’thas’ Blood Elves’ attack on the Exodar that led to its flight to Azeroth.

“We were supposed to be safe here!”

“No, child, the Draenei are not ‘safe’ from the Eredar anywhere. The difference with this world is that here is where we stop running. Here is where make our final stand.”

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I hadn’t originally intended to acquire all the Artifacts because some of them are downright evil… as in, Shadow Priest, all the Death Knight, and all the Warlock. I don’t want to be carrying those things around, let alone using them. In the case of the Death Knight and Warlock, the Artifacts that I consider to be the least of three evils fortunately align with my favored specs for those classes.

As I’ve been beginning to acquire Artifact weapons for multiple specs for each class — and have completed “Arsenal of Power” for Shaman, Mage, Hunter, and Demon Hunter — however, my Collecting bug is starting to itch to get all the Artifacts.

It’s been fun to see all the little stories — though some are certainly more interesting than others. Although I know that some of the Artifact quests revisit the same places and even, in some cases, the same bosses, I’m beginning to want to see them all… even the downright evil ones.

Additionally, I’ve read that in most (if not all) of the Order Hall Campaigns, a quest to begin one of the later stages of the Order Hall Campaign is given by the same NPC who gives out the quests to go get the other Artifact weapons. If you haven’t gotten the other Artifacts and are stubbornly ignoring the quests to do so, you might miss that Campaign quest and then find yourself stuck in your Campaign. Thus, it is to your advantage to just do all the Artifact quests, even if you don’t plan to play as any of those other specs.

I can kinda-sorta make an in-character rationalization/justification for picking up even the Artifacts I don’t really want in-character from the evidence I’ve seen so far that there is often another person or group — and usually a bad one — either in possession of or trying to obtain the Artifact, so it wouldn’t be the responsible thing to do, as the leader of my Class Order, to leave those Artifacts in the hands of those other persons or groups. I should at least bring them to the relative safety and protection of my Order Hall.

I don’t want to do the [Shadow Priest, Affliction Warlock, Demonology Warlock, Blood Death Knight, Unholy Death Knight] quests “in character” as my characters, though, if that makes any sense at all. I’d want to do them as, well, someone else. Some sidekick, a lesser champion of the Order, rather than my actual character herself. For my Priest in particular, I have been thinking that if I do go get the Shadow Priest Artifact with her, I’ll temporarily change her entire appearance at the Barbershop — with a Mog to match, of course — to be my short-lived Shadow Priest alt, Kazithra (Kregga’s mom), while I do the questchain. I’d also temporarily change the appearances of my Death Knight and Warlock to go get the other Artifacts for their classes, though I have less concrete ideas about what alter-egos I want to create for them.

But then once I have those evil Artifacts that I don’t really want to be carrying around with me, what do I do with them? Can Artifacts be stashed in Void Storage?

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Since the last Battle Pet Bonus Week, my Hunter has been methodically leveling all the remaining level 1 pets in my favorites list. It feels kind of creepy to be camping out on Ashlei’s hill, because of how she’s just a kid and all, but her two-pet team makes her the easiest to reliably beat — and I’m too lazy to travel around and battle more than one trainer per day. Anyhow, pet-battling having gotten Ketura to level 102, it was time to go get the Artifacts for her other specs.

Knowing that the Marksmanship weapon is Alleria Windrunner’s bow, I hoped that I wouldn’t be taking it from her dead body after having failed to rescue her. Fortunately, that was not what happened. But if she is still alive, why would she have left the bow behind?

It didn’t seem quite right to claim Thas’dorah as a Tauren; that bow rightfully belongs to the children of the Sunwell. So I used the Orb of the Sin’dorei before I picked it up.

I guess my camera angle was bad right at the moment when I clicked on Thas’dorah, because this is the best screenshot I got of the triumphal moment. I didn’t feel persnickety enough about getting a really good screenshot to abandon the quest and do everything over again, though. I had really struggled to get through the scenario. I’d died several times. Partly that was because I didn’t have a very good ranged weapon equipped — it was the reward from the Broken Shore scenario, and I’d forgotten that I’d bought a better one from the Trueshot Lodge quartermaster after I picked up my first Artifact. I also hadn’t played as Marksmanship enough to have figured out the synergy of the abilities very well yet. Furthermore, I’d gotten DC’d halfway through and had to start over from the beginning once already.


I hope that my future actions do not cause Vereesa to decide that her trust in me, and her decision to allow her sister’s bow to be taken by a member of the Horde, were foolish.

~*~*~

I equipped my better ranged weapon from the Trueshot Lodge quartermaster and had a much easier time with the Beast Mastery questline. It took me to the same place as the Protection Paladin questline — just a different tomb in the same complex. I think I can guess which tomb in that complex the Warrior questline will visit…

I enjoyed the subsequent visit to Mimiron’s workshop in Ulduar — and getting to ride in Mimiron’s Head.

The master of beasts part seems a bit tacked-on, though — it makes sense in the same sort of sideways way that the Fist of Ra-den being the weapon for Elemental Shaman rather than Mistweaver Monks does.

I’d farmed the Rifle of the Platinum Guard to Mog over Titanstrike, but I like its appearance better than I thought I did from just seeing the previews on Wowhead during the beta. So I guess I won’t be Mogging over it right away. For the time being, I’ll also just leave Hati as Hati, rather than getting the item that lets you change Hati’s appearance to match your regular pet.

~*~*~

My Demon Hunter was very very close to 102. She had some skinning & leatherworking quests, so I went out to Azsuna and farmed bears and hippogryphs. I thought that perhaps turning in those quests would tick her over; as it happened, just the farming did the trick.

Even though I don’t plan to try to tank for groups, or even to play solo as Vengeance very much, I’d decided to get the Artifact weapon for that spec to see the story and to honor the memory of a race that had so valiantly resisted the Legion.

After having gone to Niskara for the Marksmanship Hunter weapon, I wondered if perhaps the Vengeance Demon Hunter would go there, too — if maybe Niskara was a fragment of the Aldrachi world. But I was disappointed in this; the questline did not reveal anything more about who the Aldrachi were; the Vengeance Demon Hunter goes to the Broken Shore. Along the way to the final boss fight of the scenario, I saw some dead Argent Crusade types. Hmm, I guess that location must also be where the Retribution Paladin questline goes.

~*~*~

Like Mardum, Dreadscar Rift, and Netherlight Temple — and the Remains of Xandros, where we battled Mongrethod at the end of the Talador storyline in Warlords — Niskara is a fragment of a world destroyed by the Burning Legion. These Legion zones are all so tiny — about the size of the Broken Shore. The more of these miniscule shreds of worlds I visit, the more chilling the power of the Legion becomes — and the more vital that Azeroth’s people save her.

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Kamalia hasn’t gotten much play this week. Being so close to the first Legion alt-leveling milestone of getting each Class its first Artifact weapon and to level 101 to unlock Champion missions at the Order Hall, I wanted to get that done.

~*~*~

I chose Arms first with my Warrior because Mr Rossi says it’s the best for leveling and World Questing.

Skyhold is aesthetically lovely. As much as my Warrior has been intrigued by the Vrykul ever since Northrend, though, she finds Skyhold rather lonely with only Valarjar and Val’kyr there. And despite previous encounters with Titan structures and constructs, it wasn’t until she unexpectedly found herself in Skyhold, staring at Odyn, that the works of the Titans caused her to wonder about the reality of the Earthmother. Perhaps if she’d been to Ulduar with Khadgar and Brann to see Magni, she might not be feeling so unsettled. But only my Paladin, Shaman, Druid, and Mage did that. I might have to come up with an in-character motivation for my Warrior to go talk to Archivist Elysiana to do that questline (at least the Ulduar part of it)…

~*~*~

It was a thoroughly delightful surprise to discover that the Tauren Seers were involved in the first stages of the quest chain for the Protection Paladin Artifact. Some of the later quest chain text speaks of “a great warrior” who went to one of the locations before the paladins do. I’m guessing it was probably for the Protection Warrior Artifact (because I went somewhere quite different for the Arms one) but the warrior didn’t go to exactly the same specific location, just the same general area, so my headcanon can be that my Paladin did in fact go there first.

This sword and shield are so pretty that I don’t feel sad about not being able to use the Alliance movie tie-in weapons with my Tauren Paladin anymore 😛

As for the Paladin Order Hall, now that I’ve actually been to the Sanctum of Light, I totally get what I’ve read about Priests being utterly smitten with jealousy when they get to visit the Paladin place as part of their Order Hall Campaign. The Mage place is still my favorite Order Hall, but the Paladin place is a very close second!

~*~*~

I’ve read that the Balance Druid and Affliction Warlock Artifact questlines are substantially similar in much the same way that the Disc Priest and Arcane Mage Artifact questlines are. After playing through the Balance Druid questline, I’d guess that the first few quests are different for Balance Druids and Affliction Warlocks, but that after you meet up with Revil Kost in Duskwood, they are essentially identical. I saw a Gnome Warlock running around in some of the same places that I was investigating.

I can’t think of The Scythe of Elune without wanting to call it “The Scythe of Elooooone“, ala Oxhorn (one of the very early movies, though I don’t remember exactly which one anymore).

In one of the other treasure chambers of the Karazhan Crypts, I found this strange statue.

I have never, ever seen this image before. What is it? Where did it come from? Something about the style of it makes me wonder if perhaps it might have been designed to be part of Yaungol lore, in a questline that got cut? Or does it portend some as-yet-unknown Tauren faction?

~*~*~

With the first milestone completed, my next objectives are to level the characters who want multiple Artifacts to 102 so I can get the rest of the Artifacts I want to collect and to bring Light’s Heart to each Order Hall. In my headcanon, though, Light’s Heart will actually be at the Fel Hammer because my Demon Hunter is the primary character with whom I intend to pursue the continuation of that quest chain at level 110.

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Scepter of Sargeras

Having read that the Warlock Order Hall Champions are members of the Council of the Black Harvest, I decided that before I did the Order Hall and first Artifact sequence of quests with my Warlock, I’d better first go do the Green Fire questline so that she’d know who these guys are and why they’re important.

The Green Fire questchain was shorter than I expected, I suppose because I was thinking it would be comparable in length and complexity to the Quel’Delar questline. I definitely appreciated that being Revered with the Ashtongue Deathsworn due to previous farming in Black Temple meant that when I got to the first stage of the Black Temple scenario, I didn’t have to try to sneak around the Ashtongue guardians — I could walk right past them because they already trusted me! Even at level 100, the two boss fights in the scenario weren’t completely push-overs; I died the first time I attempted each one — but I only had to do them twice. I could tell that I would have found those boss fights to be very difficult, challenging, and frustrating if I’d tried to do them at level 90. Which is why I didn’t try to do this questline at level 90 😛

I think I’d gotten what I’d read about the Destro and Affliction Artifacts mixed up, because for some reason I was expecting to go to Karazhan to get the Destro weapon. I rather liked the actual questline, though — and it made me glad that I’d actually done Tol Barad rep (with Kaylynda) back in the day, because that meant that I wasn’t in completely unfamiliar territory for that part of the questline. The end part of the questline had me cackling with glee — and also remembering messing up Twilight Hammer rituals during the Cataclysm pre-launch world event.

Unlike Demon Hunter and Rogue, where I thought I’d only want to get one of their Artifacts but have decided that I’d like to see the story for one of the others, I have no interest in getting a second Artifact with my Warlock to see its story. I’m not really all that keen on the Warlock Order Hall, either — though having gotten green fire does make my Warlock feel like she fits in a little better there 😛 She also isn’t really into the whole commanding armies of demons thing — she’d rather just leave that to Rittsyn. She’s more concerned the boost to personal firepower she can get from delving into less orthodox magics. I suppose, however, that Dreadscar Rift is an even more grim reminder than Outland of what we are fighting to prevent Azeroth from becoming.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, Kamalia recently reached the point with her Leatherworking where she needs to buy the Rank 1 Dreadleather and Gravenscale patterns. These patterns are purchased with crafting mats, and some of the patterns cost enchanting dust or ore in addition to leather or scales. I suppose that I could just trade Blood of Sargeras for those things… but I’d rather use it as an excuse to bring my Enchanting alt and one of my Mining alts to the Broken Isles.

Kaohana’s bags were getting stuffed with Broken Isles greens that Kamalia had sent her, so she was needing to come to New Dalaran for profession training very soon anyway.

I’d read that the Discipline Priest Artifact questline was substantially similar to the Arcane Mage one, and I saw a Priest or two running around in the same areas when I was doing the Aluneth questline with Kaelinda. I’d thought, oh, well, maybe they just take place in the same area, but the quest givers and directions and motivations are different. Alas, no; the Light’s Wrath questline was, indeed, almost identical, with the only differences being based on the identity of the uncontrollable staff and its powers. I must confess that with Light’s Wrath being a Scarlet Crusade-created item, I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t have to Discipline my way through any of the Scarlet Crusade strongholds — like, say, Tyr’s Hand — to get it.

I’d also read that the Priest Order Hall is… underwhelming compared to some of the other class halls. I was trying not to be pre-biased by opinions from other players, but, yeah, Netherlight Temple does seem rather… plain… and… small… compared to, say, the Hall of the Guardian. It is much more sparsely decorated than the others, which is okay, I guess, for the austere aesthetic of many priestly orders, and it seems to have fewer notable NPCs — all of which make it seem like there will be less opportunities to be delighted by suddently noticing a detail that I’d overlooked before.

Of my Miners, I decided to bring my Rogue. Partly I chose her to follow my plan of bringing my alts to their Order Halls in inverse order of my longer-term interest in playing them. Partly I chose her because Stealth is a definite plus when one is a lowbie who just wants to run around mining. And partly I chose her because even though she is nominally my Gnomish Engineer, I haven’t really put a lot of effort into that crafting profession. She is, therefore, the least likely of my Miners to begrudge having to share the ore she collects with someone else.

Now the question is — how does Kelisanna resist getting corrupted by these blades in the same way that Dread Admiral Eliza was?

I’m also thinking that although I don’t plan to spend any time playing as Assassination, I might go get the Kingslayers when Kelisanna reaches level 102 just to see the little story about Garona.

Not having spent any time or effort on farming Ravenholdt rep with my Rogue, I am not particularly attached to the idea of Rogues Belong At Ravenholdt. In fact, I rather like the Hall of Shadows. It feels akin to the Thieves and Assassins’ Guilds of Ankh-Morpork.

Kamalia went to Azsuna first because I’d read that that was where all the early Profession quests were going to send you anyway.
Kiralaira went to Azsuna first because she wanted to check up on her Illidari.
Kaelinda went to Azsuna first because of her interest in ancient elvish language and magic.

Kaohana went to Stormheim first because of her fascination with the Val’kyr.
Kelisanna went to Stormheim first because as a Farstrider, she is my character with the greatest loyalty toward Sylvanas Windrunner.

I like most of Stormheim, with the vrykul and storm dragons and the Titan vaults and the grappling gun and whatnot, quite a lot. But, ugh, I dislike the opening sequence, with that ugly battle between the Forsaken and the Worgen, and the RAS and their chemical weapons — and I dislike even more being railroaded through it. I don’t like being Sylvanas’ toady any more than I liked being Garrosh’s toady. I won’t level my lowbies in the Forsaken zones; I won’t do the Forsaken questlines in Howling Fjord and the Dragonblight. So I did an experiment. I took my Demon Hunter, who had only been to Azsuna, and rode on her land mount all the way around the continent until I got to Stormheim. As I came down into Stormheim from Highmountain, I found a group of Kirin Tor mages… and they wanted to send me right back to Dalaran to talk to Nathanos Blightcaller. Blast! I’d been hoping that there was some way to skip that part of the zone, and just start at meeting with Havi at his hut in the Valley of Swords. *sigh*

Maybe what I’ll do is always select Stormheim first and push through the scenario and follow-up quests until I get the quest to meet with Havi — get all that nasty stuff out of the way ASAP, treating it, in RP terms, as purely a game mechanic and not something that anyone except Kelisanna actually participated in — and then go to the first zone that I actually want to do extensive questing in.

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